F9 essentially, the 2021 summer movie season kicked off, except in China (and elsewhere), unlike North America. Justin Lin’s Fast & Furious 9, which pits Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto against his estranged / evil brother played by John Cena, made $ 162.4 million in eight markets this weekend, which is right in line with release expectations. The film made $ 14 million in IMAX alone, becoming IMAX’s second-biggest May debut behind Captain America: Civil War‘s worldwide launch in 2016. It is Universal’s third largest IMAX overseas debut ever Jurassic World and Fate of the Furious. The $ 200 million campaigner pushed it all Fast Saga (now ten movies and counting) past the $ 6 billion mark in raw global revenues, behind alone Star Wars ($ 10.25 billion over 11 live-action films) for original cinematic franchises.
More than any Hollywood franchise, The fast saga is * huge * in China, with Fate of the Furious and Furious 7 both made $ 392 million in 2017 and 2015, respectively Hobbs & Shaw became the last non-MCU Hollywood movie to make $ 200 million in China in August 2019. F9
It made $ 9.9 million in South Korea and a record $ 2.6 million opening weekend in Saudi Arabia (a relatively “new” marketplace for Hollywood movies), as well as $ 2.4 million (Universal’s largest ever opening) in Hong Kong. It also made $ 8.2 million in Russia, a pandemic-era record, with 62 more territories to roll out in the next two months. That includes Australia on June 17, North America on June 25, and Germany, France and Spain in July. Needless to say, this is closer to the widespread global launch of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (which made $ 417 million domestically, $ 267 million in China, and $ 1.308 billion worldwide in 2018) than the global launch of $ 532 million for everyone in the pool at once. Fate of the Furious in 2017.
China’s word of mouth is not that hot, with public poll closer to Transformers: The Last Knight than Coco. We have seen with Detective Chinatown 3 ($ 685 million on $ 398.5 million debut), Batman vs Superman ($ 95 million / $ 55 million) and Warcraft ($ 218 million from a Wed / Thu $ 90 million and $ 156 million Wed-Sun debut) that the Chinese public is perfectly capable of showing and then turning down major titles. We’re probably looking at a Chinese cume getting closer Transformers: The Last Knight ($ 228 million) then Avengers: Infinity War ($ 356 million). That would be less of an issue with a conventional global release, but a recovered China would be a stop-gap for downturns in compromised markets. That said, with China offering only 25% of the gross, the difference for Universal would be about $ 30 million.
I would be more concerned about how word of mouth is ahead F9 effects Fast 10. The news is mostly good, with the hope that the current territories are as elongated as Fate of the Furious ($ 1.236 billion divided by $ 532 million = 2.32x) for $ 375 million in those areas only. We’re probably not looking at the following global gross sales of $ 1 billion plus (Spider-Man: No Way Home has the best shot at that benchmark in 2021), but Universal had no such expectations when they were cemented F9 as the “Welcome back!” tent pole of the summer. It still goes to show that even amid a Chinese market full of local tent poles and blockbusters, the right Hollywood franchise can still take hold of the auditoriums. Not bad for a 20-year franchise that started as one Point Break Rip off about DVD thieves.